The penultimate round of 2018 AMA Supercross


4/26/2018

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What a long, strange trip it's been this season for AMA Supercross. That's usually the case, though, as the face of the series changes often round-to-round, let alone after 15 rounds. One steady thing, though, has been the location of the red plate in the 450SX class. It has been owned since Round 2 by Jason Anderson. Fast, consistent and an absolute blast to watch ride, Anderson has proven that - with two rounds to go - he is fully worthy of being called the champion of the sport's premier class. Unless things go terribly awry for him this weekend in Salt Lake City, he'll wrap the title up a round early, as well.

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Beyond Anderson's safe third-place finish last weekend in Foxborough, Mass., the big story was the conflict between the other two riders in the top three points chase - Eli Tomac and Marvin Musquin. There's a bit of history between the two, as this isn't the first time they've been gunning for wins - or titles - in their careers racing motocross and AMA Supercross. After last weekend, it probably won't be the last, either. 

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Tomac chased Musquin for the majority of the 450 main event and, with a lap and a half to go, finally made his pass. As they crossed the finish line jump with a lap to go, a slight gap had emerged and at that point things seemed to have worked out in Tomac's favor and he'd speed off to his eighth win of the season. 

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That's when Musquin decided to do a non-Musquin-like move and put a very aggressive pass on Tomac that bordered on a straight take-out, nearly knocking them both down in the process. Tomac did hit the dirt, and with damage to his bike, was able to re-mount and retain his 2nd place finish, although he was not happy about it. Nor were the fans in the stands, and clearly, Musquin himself seemed pretty shook up too. It was a rough and tumble pass and, suddenly, everyone was reminded that Supercross can sometimes be a contact sport. The FIM and AMA officials decided not to penalize Musquin for the move, calling it a racing incident, and the final results stood with Musquin taking his 3rd win of the season. He's settled safely into 2nd in points, as well.

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Jason Anderson has been the epitome of calm, cool and collected through all of this and has been the absolute portrait of a champion. While finishing a distant third at Foxborough probably didn't sit well with him, it will all feel just fine when he's handed the AMA 450SX Championship #1 plate as early as this weekend. 

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On the other end of the spectrum at Gillette Stadium, Zach Osborne went on to an uncontested win in the 250SX east main event (and his heat), further opening his points gap over Jordon Smith to 15 heading into their finale in Vegas in two weeks. Osborne looks to be well on his way to successfully defending that #1 plate. A long time veteran of the 250 class, this summer Osborne is said to be moving to the 450MX class and opting to not defend his #1 plate outdoors. Instead he will be going against the likes of Tomac, Anderson, Roczen, etc. in the great outdoors.

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Speaking of outdoor motocross champions, Jeremy Martin has found a new calling in Supercross later this season as he was on a two-win streak coming into Foxborough. He backed that up with a convincing and easy heat race win that was seconds faster than Osborne's, in addition to being fastest qualifier. Things did not go his way in the main event, though, as he went down in the first corner and was forced to play catch-up for the duration of the main. He did a remarkable job at that too, making his way all the way to fourth position and knocking hard on the door for a podium spot. Martin's not in the title chase due to poor early season results, but he's 100% committed to showing everyone that he is, indeed, one of the top 250SX class riders in the world. He'll come out swinging at the finale East/West Showdown in Vegas - after all, he won the first Showdown in Indy with no problem.

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Heading into Salt Lake, the 250 West region once again get a chance to strut their stuff, and leading the charge will be points leader Aaron Plessinger. Coming off an epic mud win in Seattle a couple of weeks ago, Plessinger is relatively safely in the lead heading into Salt Lake with a 17 point gap over Adam Cianciarulo. The weather in Salt Lake is predicted to be beautiful - sunny and 80 - so Plessinger won't have his usual advantage with a muddy or rutted track. He's proven time and again though that he was what it takes on every racing surface and can play it relatively safe getting through this weekend and into the Vegas finale in two weeks time.

Be sure to see if Jason Anderson can nail down his first AMA Supercross championship this weekend in Salt Lake City. The race is again scheduled for the daytime, with roughly the same schedule as Foxborough's. This means it'll be broadcast LIVE on Fox at 2:30 p.m. PDT, 5:30 p.m. EDT. Don't miss it!


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